Renowned for large-scale theatrical scenes or groups of figures interlaced with calligraphy, Ahmad Moualla describes one of his most common themes: “The crowd is part of my soul. Painting is a crowd of colours, strokes and expressions. I worked a lot on the subject of the herd and the individual, the individual as a prophet, or a criminal, a leader or a creator. Our history is full of individual heroes or dictators.”
Born in Banias, Ahmad Moualla (1958) graduated from the Department of Visual Communications, Faculty of Fine Arts, Damascus University and received a diploma from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris. He lectured in the Faculty of Fine Arts and worked on the scenography of films and TV series, also designing numerous productions for the Syrian National Theatre.
As a child, Moualla and his brothers would put on plays with elaborate sets that used props from their house and their parents would host large gatherings where different ideologies and politics were discussed. These experiences laid the foundation for his later work revolving around the theatre, society, the individual and authorities.
After studying several French masters who painted figures and historical scenes, Moualla began using a more expressive style of brushwork. Evolving throughout his career, he began combining the crowds on his canvas with calligraphic elements. Using the text of activist poets, he creates layers of meaning in each work.
Moualla has shown his work internationally at such venues as Green Art Gallery, Dubai; Municipality of Athens – Center of the Arts; MODEM Centre for Modern and Contemporary Arts in Debrecen, Hungary; Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Hong Kong; Contemporary Istanbul and Souq Waqif, Qatar.